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Pride at Work

June marks Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, an opportunity to raise awareness of the struggles of those whose sexuality or gender differ from mainstream norms and a chance for allies to step forward and show their support.

Pride began as a continuation of the protest movement that started with the Stonewall uprising of June 1969. It continues to highlight issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community and provides an opportunity to celebrate non-traditional identities.

While Pride events have now entered the mainstream in many parts of the world, the issues that LGBTQIA+ people face have not disappeared. In 2022, the UK Home Office reported that homophobic hate crimes have increased annually since 2017, and LGBTQIA+ youth are more than twice as likely to contemplate suicide.

In professional settings, Lean In reports that candidates who have something on their resume which suggests they may be LGBTQIA+, such as belonging to an advocacy group, receive fewer callbacks compared to those with the same qualifications, and a YouGov survey of over 4000 UK workers found evidence of a 16% pay gap for LBGTQ+ employees.

More than a fifth of LGBTQIA+ respondents to the same poll said they had experienced verbal abuse in the office, 61% admitted they had been made to feel uncomfortable at work, and 35% witnessed homophobic behaviour at work. More than a quarter (28%) cited fear of judgement by their colleagues as a key reason for not being out, with 14% feeling that their chances of promotion would be hindered if they were to come out.

So, how can employers ensure they are providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ colleagues and candidates? Here are some of our suggestions; see our guide to Diversity and Inclusion for more details.

  1. Show support for the community and continue to be inclusive far beyond Pride Month. Pride-washing is a common complaint from the community, so ensure your initiatives continue all year round.
  2. Review your inclusivity policies and initiatives.
  3. Review arrangements for life insurance, pensions and childcare to ensure they are fair and applicable to the community.
  4. Consider how your marketing represents the community.
  5. Benchmark diversity and inclusion amongst the community in your organisation and ask your colleagues how you could improve.
  6. Showcase your work to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace in your recruitment materials.
  7. Follow blind recruitment best practices to minimise bias in the shortlisting process.

What does LGBTQIA+ stand for?

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (commonly known as Ace), and the plus covers other minority identities not yet defined in words. This definition includes those who are non-binary or questioning their gender or sexuality and acknowledges that different aspects of the community identify with different terminology.





Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

Download our guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Fill in the form to get your copy.